Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.
This week I’m revisiting the third book in the Great Peacemaker series, the story of the founding of the Great League of the Iroquois.
A fascinating look at the early history of Native American life and culture, first published in 2013. Recommended for anyone interested in learning about a not very often written about period of history in an engaging and entertaining way.
Following the test of the falls, the miracle of Two Rivers’ survival and the struggle to convince the clans that living together in unity is the answer to their problems, at last they are ready to listen and agree to the message of peace. Two Rivers’ capability and patient self-control is rewarded. The clans realise the time for change is upon them, their hunger and desperation fueling the decision, and the knowledge that Two Rivers’ goal is the last chance for them to change their fortunes.
So with the message received well, Two Rivers and Teneki, along with a group of supporters, travel back to the Onondaga people to convince them to join the alliance. It proves as difficult as they expected. Tadodaho, the war chief of Onondaga town, is far from interested in a message of peace. He is feared among his people and suspected of having evil powers. An opportune natural phenomenon, the like of which Two Rivers, or anyone else, had never seen occurs to lend weight to his words as he is regarded with awe.
Meanwhile Seketa, who has taken to spending time on Two Rivers’ favourite cliff, realises how he must have felt and why he enjoyed the solitude away from the disapproval and intolerance of the town. She makes a momentous decision.
And the Frozen Season was only some moons away, she realised suddenly, her heart missing a beat. If Tekeni didn’t hurry, she would be forced to spend yet another dreadful winter here, with no favourite cliff and no privacy…….
…..And another thing was sure, too. She would not stay here to endure another winter. Not if she could help it.
Onheda also has an insight into the reality of her situation, as she sees it, when she hears some news from travelling warriors at Jikonsahseh’s camp. Frustrated at her forced inactivity she decides to act.
“I want to find Hionhwatha. I want to help him. I know I can’t do much, but I think, at this point, he needs all the help he can get.”
Feeling stronger and calmer, she smiled reassuringly. “I will be back, and when…when the Messenger comes, tell him I went away to help.”
So, both Seketa and Onheda settle on a plan of action, having waited long enough, and begin their own journeys to find and help their men. They are full of courage, strength of character and have lost patience with standing by and doing nothing. Neither of them have any idea how desperate a situation they will find themselves in.
This story kept me in suspense wondering how it would play out. Will Two Rivers’ crusade cost him the woman he loves and is Seketa’s determination and spirit enough to find Teneki. Although the main thrust of the story is the peace process, which is incredible, I did like the added personal aspect which just gave a heightened sense of feeling to the story and that, along with the ending, is very emotional. The characters are wonderful and their development is brilliant, especially Teneki, grown now into a formidable warrior.
Another excellent instalment of the Great Peacemaker’s initiation of the Great League of the Iroquois. I just love the way Zoe Saadia breathes life into this amazing story, it’s a fascinating and refreshing change, and because this period of history is new to me, the different nations and their lifestyle, customs and culture are a revelation.
To survive the test of the falls was only the first step. Climbing the tree and letting them chop it down, falling straight into the worst of the rapids, gained him their attention, made them listen. But the main part of his work was still ahead of Two Rivers and his most loyal follower, Tekeni. The task of organizing the people as a whole, of making them talk to their hostile, warlike neighbors, demanded time, too much time.
Their private desires had to wait as they traveled to more places, convened more gatherings, convinced more nations. The Great Peace demanded their full attention.